It’s not exactly digital-out-of-home nor digital signage but it is about reaching people on the go with the right information. It also involves the famous QR codes.
South- Koreans are the world’s second busiest people in terms of working hours so they’re not very keen grocery shoppers as they simply don’t have the time. On the other hand, they’ re famous for being tech-savvy. Based on this data, Tesco came up with an innovative idea for strengthening its position on the market without opening any new stores.
The idea behind this concept was ”If people don’t come to the store, let the store come to the people.” Note that not to their homes- as they’re not so much there- but to wherever they really are. Subway stations were spotted as a place where they’re more likely to be found during the day, with some idle time on hands that they usually spend using their smartphones. This prolonged dwell time made shopping suitable and QR codes viable. But the right shopping atmosphere was not there yet. Until illuminated posters have been placed presenting a wide range of food, drinks and other products South Koreans would normally find in a Tesco store. Each product image had a QR code which- once scanned- activates the buying process. The purchases are then home delivered, saving much of the time of the overbooked South Korean.
The result: a sales boost of 135% in only 2 months and a Media Grand Prix at Cannes Lions. Marketing doesn’t have to be neither expensive nor highly technical. It just has to make shopping easier by bringing a practical answer to a real problem. And that’s what Tesco’s ”virtual stores” did.
P.S. We’ve recently found out that Prague’s subway has embraced the concept (maybe the second in Europe to do so, after Ocado) offering virtual grocery stores in the capital’s 4 busiest stations. The new virtual stores, similar to the Tesco’s South- Korean ones will be ”open” until the end of 2011 with more products added as holidays approach. We’ll probably see more and more examples of this kind in the future, as the concept is obviously answering an existing need.